May 20, 2011

Middle of the night reflections

I was so tired last night but found it hard to relax and fall asleep. I took a Vicodin for back pain and Ativan for stress reduction, and while I was waiting for everything to kick in, my mind wandered over many topics.

I remembered the day we lost Pumpkin, how stressed we were that we didn't help him faster and so he had to suffer, because I had to go to chemo early in the morning before we could take him to the vet. I imagined Pumpkin and the Kitzel and even Dunky my childhood dog all running to greet me as I crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

I thought of my dear friend Charisse z"l, whose yahrzeit is coming up in a couple of weeks, and how much I miss her company and would have benefited from her wisdom while going through cancer treatment all these years. The night Charisse died, her husband told me he was cuddled in the hospital bed with her. At one point she sat straight up and said out loud, "I have faith!" When he awoke the next time, she had died. She knew she was dying (we had spoken only days before to say goodbye).  I wish I knew what Charisse meant, what she had faith in.

I recalled the Red Queen from Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass," who raced so fast just to stay in place. It's like dancing with cancer. You have to keep moving as fast as you can just to stay on  top of it.
"Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we've been doing."
"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
To those of you who say to me that I always seem so on top of things, I always reply that's because you don't see me when I get the middle of the night heebie-jeebies. Well, this is what the middle of the night is like. Even Rik and Bobka the dog, who were sound asleep next to me, didn't know what was going on.

Eventually I relaxed from all the drugs and fell asleep. I hope to get to yoga today, and will focus on the relaxation pieces. The sun is shining yet again (three days in a row!), I have a few more plants to put into the garden, and I hope a nap is also in my future.


  1. Dear Jill,

    I follow you all the time and cry for your tough moments and laugh over your great sense of humor. Those night terrors are something that seem to attack no matter how "well" we appear to be doing. I'm not sure we can even explain the way it feels. It is a lonely place.

    I love your spirit and sense your strength. Here is a wish for you and a hug across space. You are in my thoughts every day.

    Love and hugs,
    donna peach

  2. I, too, do the middle of the night heebie jeebies sometimes. I think that it comes with the territory. I think that you are on top of it, but you know, cancer changes so quickly sometimes that you stumble a little. You cannot help but stumble sometimes. I find that when I stumble the worst is when I'm lying flat on my back trying to sleep.